January 25, 2017
Donna Cutler, 76, recently spent a week in the hospital to address an issue with her oxygen levels. Although no surgery was required, the bill came to almost $50,000. Fortunately, Medicare covered the cost.
Mrs. Cutler paid into Medicare her entire working life, including time as a teacher, and feels that Medicare works quite well the way it is. But she says that Paul Ryan is trying to weaken the program by robbing people of what was promised when they paid into it.
Mrs. Cutler is especially worried about Republican plans to raise the Medicare eligibility age to 67, and what that would mean for people younger than she is. She remembers when she was 62, living in Texas and had suffered a detached retina. At the time, she was looking for private insurance but her eye problem was considered a pre-existing condition. Eventually she settled on an expensive plan that partly covered hospitalization but did not even cover doctors’ fees.
She was quite relieved when she turned 65 and became eligible for Medicare’s guaranteed benefits.
She doesn’t know what she would do if Medicare became a system of vouchers and coupon care. “If we have the money for a wall with Mexico, why don’t we have the money for our older citizens?” she asked.